Zero-emissions hydrogen-powered transportation is now a reality in France’s Rhône-Alpes region, home to 80% of the country’s hydrogen-energy industry. Under the HyWay program, initiated in October 2014, an initial test fleet of 21 Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 hybrid electric-hydrogen utility vehicles and a network of several electric vehicle charging stations and three hydrogen filling stations have been rolled out in the cities of Grenoble and Lyon.
The HyWay program, coordinated by the Tenerrdis energy cluster, reached yet another milestone with the delivery of an initial fleet of 21 hybrid electric-hydrogen vehicles—the largest currently on the road in Europe—to Grenoble. Test users will be able to fill up on hydrogen at the Air Liquide filling station in Sassenage (near Grenoble) and at the Symbio FCell and French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) campuses in Grenoble. Another, larger-capacity hydrogen filling station is slated to open, also in Grenoble, at the GEG (the local gas and electric utility) campus. Ultimately, the station will be supplied by a green hydrogen production unit operated by Cofely Services and equipped with McPhy Energy electrolyzers.
The Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 hybrid electric-hydrogen utility vehicles are equipped with Symbio FCell hydrogen fuel-cell range extenders that leverage a technology developed by the CEA. The vehicles offer a range of up to 300 km per day in intensive city driving conditions. The vehicles, adorned with the logos and graphics of their test users, were unveiled at Grenoble-area Renault dealership AutoLosange of Fontaine on June 10, 2015.
Hydrogen, the key to sustainable mobility
The HyWay program is banking on a uniquely innovative concept—a captive-fleet test rollout—to promote France’s expertise in hydrogen-powered mobility at a time when many countries are multiplying hydrogen-energy-related technology projects. France stands out as home to global industry leaders in this emerging field. France is also home to the Mobilité Hydrogène France consortium, the industry association that published on October 3, 2014 the results of its market research on the potential for hydrogen and fuel-cells in France’s transportation sector. HyWay represents one of the first building blocks of a nationwide hydrogen-powered-mobility network, an objective encouraged by the consortium’s report.
Program backed by leading institutions
The French government firmly supports the HyWay program, providing financing through DREAL and ADEME, its environment, housing, and development and energy agencies, respectively. The Rhône-Alpes regional government is on board, and the program has also received EU funding.
Test users get fully-operational sustainable transportation
The businesses, government agencies, and other organizations participating in this innovative program are pioneers in the future large-scale adoption of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The program also represents a response to real-world problems shared by all of the test users—electric-vehicle range, uptime, and predictability in highly-demanding city driving environments.
The Isère-based test users are: Air Liquide CETUP, a last-mile and express courier company Cofely Services Colas Crédit Agricole Sud Rhône-Alpes Eolya French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, the greater Grenoble intermunicipal authority Groupe Vicat Isère General Council La Poste Qualit’Express, a courier company Schneider Electric SERFIM Eau FILEPPI SIERG Tronico.
Japan clearly shows its determination to become the fuel cell technology world leader. Three French industries located in Rhone-Alpes and members of Tenerrdis cluster will be attending the international Fuel Cell Expo in Tokyo late February: Atawey, McPhy Energy and PaxiTech.
To learn more about those 3 companies featuring the French hydrogen technology, click here.
Two innovative, energy-saving Tenerrdis R&D projects in the spotlight at 2014 Made in France trade show
The results of two R&D projects that Tenerrdis co-certified—the LedBox LED lighting control unit and the G-Néo residential heat pump—were among the innovations selected by the French government for its recent Made in France program. The 30 products were deemed the most innovative everyday objects of the future and were showcased at a trade event held in Versailles in November 2014. The government’s Made in France campaign marked the ten-year anniversary of the country’s competitive cluster initiative to boost innovation.
The first, LedBox, is a new LED lighting solution offering a single combined power supply and control unit for easier installation, greater user convenience, and increased energy efficiency. The commercial release of the unit is expected in 2015 with projected annual revenue (including export sales) expected to reach €2 million within five years. The units will be manufactured in France by Schneider Electric and two jobs were created or saved by the project.
The second, the G-Néo geothermal heat pump for single-family home heating and hot water, offers an innovative design that packs a range of benefits into a particularly compact footprint. The product was released in the Fall of 2014 by CIAT, which manufactures the product in Serrières-en-Chautagne in France’s Savoie region. Annual revenue (including export sales) is expected to reach €20 million per year. A total of 50 jobs were created or saved by the project.
The Tenerrdis energy cluster has just published the second issue of its Innovation in Action series, a review of the very concrete results obtained by Tenerrdis-certified R&D projects.
All of the projects highlighted in this issue address the major energy-transition challenges of energy efficiency and the widespread rollout of renewable energy. They also represent five of Tenerrdis' focus industries cutting across the new energy technology sector: biomass, hydropower, energy-efficient buildings, solar energy, and smart grids and electricity storage.
Click here to download this document.
Hydrogen-powered range extenders equip entire EV fleet in the first large-scale implementation of the technology in France under the HyWay project.
The Grenoble, France-based Tenerrdis energy cluster is currently coordinating a groundbreaking project that will result in the rollout of a fleet of 50 hybrid electric/hydrogen-powered utility vehicles and the construction of two hydrogen filling stations in Lyon and Grenoble. The project has the financial backing of the Rhône-Alpes regional government and the French national energy management (ADEME) and environment, development, and housing (DREAL) agencies. It also aligns with European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) objectives.
The first phase of the HyWay project will get hydrogen-powered electric vehicle range extenders ready for industrial-scale manufacturing and—ultimately—installation on board the electric-powered Renault Kangoo ZE utility vehicle. The extenders will give the vehicle a total range of 300 km (city).
Next, a fleet of 50 of the hybrid electric/hydrogen-powered Kangoo ZEs will be put into service for a minimum of eighteen months’ testing. The rollout will take place in the Rhône-Alpes region, where two hydrogen filling stations will be built—one in Grenoble and the other in Lyon. The multi-user* test will provide ample opportunities to gather feedback on how well the vehicles and filling stations work together and whether their performance meets expectations in a variety of use scenarios.
Some 80% of France’s hydrogen-energy businesses are located in the Rhône-Alpes region, where an ambitious regional innovation policy is driving the growth of a dynamic hydrogen-energy industry. To see this preindustrial R&D project through to fruition, the Tenerrdis energy cluster is partnering with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and seven manufacturing companies: Air Liquide, CNR, GEG, McPhy Energy, PUS (COFELY Services), STEF, and Symbio FCell.
The HyWay project will test a unique and innovative captive-fleet implementation model and demonstrate France’s industry-leading know-how in hydrogen-energy. And the users involved in the test will effectively pioneer tomorrow’s hydrogen-fuelled sustainable mobility.
The number of hydrogen-energy programs being implemented around the globe is on the rise. And, thanks to a diverse cohort of innovative businesses internationally recognized for their expertise in hydrogen-energy, France is carving out a top slot in this emerging industry. Many of these businesses are also members of the Mobilité Hydrogène France consortium for the development of hydrogen-energy infrastructures across the nation. The HyWay project’s filling stations represent the initial building blocks of a future national network.
Hydrogen-powered mobility has the capacity to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and curb traffic-related pollution in urban areas. The second phase of the HyWay project will focus on developing local hydrogen production using electricity locally generated from renewable resources. This phase of the project will demonstrate the transformative potential of an end-to-end hydrogen-energy value chain from the initial renewable resource to zero-emissions urban mobility.
*The initial customers involved in the test rollout are: - Air Liquide - Auto-Losange Renault, a car dealership - CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission - CNR, France’s national road freight observatory - Colas - Compagnie Européenne des transports urgents personnalisés (CETUP), an express delivery service - Conseil Général de l’Isère, the Isère district General Council - DHL - DREAL Rhône-Alpes - La Poste, the French national postal service - Linde Gas - Qualit’Express, an express delivery service - Renault Auto Dauphiné, a car dealership - Schneider Electric - Serfim Fileppi - Serfim Serpollet - Syndicat intercommunal des eaux de la région de Grenoble (SIERG), the Grenoble-area water resource management authority - Tronico
Four Tenerrdis projects selected to receive financial support under French Single Interministerial Fund 17th grant round
Four R&D projects certified by the Tenerrdis new energy technology cluster have been selected to receive €5.5 million in financing under the French Single Interministerial Fund 17th grant round. The total budget for the four projects is €14 million.
The R&D conducted under the projects aligns with the objectives set forth in Tenerrdis’ strategy roadmap: to support the energy transition by promoting sustainable business growth and the creation of long-lasting jobs in the new-energy technology sector. In particular, the project deliverables will contribute to the development of France’s biogas, energy-efficient building, and solar energy industries. The project partners include eight small and mid-sized businesses.
Initiated in 2005, the French Single Interministerial Fund grant program has provided €68 million in financing for 50 Tenerrdis-certified projects representing total R&D spending of €176 million.
Gontrand Industry concerned
Smart grids & storage
Distributing biomethane via existing gas grids It is becoming increasingly common to distribute biomethane via existing gas grids, a new trend that has a substantial impact on grid operation. This project aims to develop and validate “smart grid” technologies to enable real-time management of a gas grid used to distribute gases of varying grades originating from different sources. Most notably, the project will develop technologies to ensure interoperability and perform dynamic modelling. A machine-to-machine solution compatible with various communications protocols to measure gas quality on-site and communicate the results will also be developed. Special attention will be paid to the security of the technologies developed and their integration into existing systems. The outcomes of the project will mainly be of interest to gas grid operators worldwide.
Project lead: GDF Suez Primary certification by Tenerrdis; project co-certified by Advancity, Capenergies, Derbi, and Systematic
Comete Industry concerned
Leveraging cloud computing for smarter homes and greater energy efficiency The Comete project will develop smart home automation solutions leveraging network technologies and the power of cloud computing. The project will make developing user-friendly human-machine interfaces a priority. The new devices and services developed will go further than the solutions currently available, providing improved operation, occupant comfort, and energy efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings. The project is solidly anchored in Rhône-Alpes, and draws upon the broad range of skills available in the region. The project results—in terms of new technologies and know-how—are expected to benefit the entire industry, from manufacturers to installers, and drive the growth of the regional economy.
Project lead: Somfy Primary certification by Tenerrdis; project co-certified by Arve Industries
Dualplas Industry concerned
Developing a low-cost hybrid solar module France’s RT2012 energy-efficiency rules for new buildings requires the use of at least one source of renewable energy. Hybrid solar systems (which combine PV and thermal solar technologies in a single solar panel) could help builders meet this requirement. However, high module production costs continue to prevent the widespread adoption of hybrid systems. This project will focus on designing and building PV module exchanger prototypes that cost four times less than current exchangers. This drastic reduction in cost will require a radical shift in both materials and manufacturing processes. However, if a competitively-priced hybrid module is successfully launched, it will create new opportunities to encourage users to produce their own energy. The project deliverables will be particularly useful for residential buildings (single family homes and apartment buildings) that produce their own domestic hot water.
Project lead: Solaire 2G Primary certification by Tenerrdis; project co-certified by Capenergies and Derbi
Printexpert Industry concerned
Developing a new machine to print high-yield PV cells France’s PV solar equipment manufacturers are seeking competitively-priced technologies to help them compete in global markets. This project aims to develop a new cell-surface contact-deposition machine offering superior yields (up to 22%) and manufacturing costs 30% lower than current standards. The outstanding quality of the partners involved bodes well for the ultimate success of the project. The project lead has earned recognition in the semiconductor industry for its screen printing processes, and another project partner, a Grenoble-based small business, brings solid know-how in industrial-scale PV cell screen printing. The project deliverables will be of interest to exporters of PV cell production lines.
Project lead: Machines Dubuit Primary certification by Tenerrdis; project co-certified by Advancity.
McPhy Energy, specialized in hydrogen production and storage equipment for industry and energy markets, and Atawey, a provider of stationary energy autonomy solutions, announce the signature of a partnership agreement for the remote-site market (telecom antenna, broadcast antenna, telecommunications and television base stations, isolated housing, sustainable hotel facilities, living compounds, etc. located in mountain regions, on islands or in vast territorial expanses).
Under the terms of this agreement, McPhy Energy becomes the supplier of the solid state hydrogen storage systems to be integrated within Atawey's energy autonomy solutions based on hydrogen generation for the storage of intermittent renewable energy. McPhy Energy will also contribute in promoting Atawey solutions worldwide.
Atawey will integrate the McPhy Energy's low temperature metal hydrides technology for low pressure solid-state hydrogen storage. Through McPhy Energy's international distribution network, Atawey will be able to address global energy autonomy markets (difficult to access remote sites not connected to electricity grids for which gas sourcing is complex and costly).
In June, in collaboration with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) team a first installation will be delivered for isolated housing applications at the French National Solar Energy Institute (INES). Within the framework of the Thémis project, a second one will be also delivered in the third quarter for industrial applications like telecom antenna. Commercial studies are in progress for installations in mountain and island regions of the French territory.
"We welcome this agreement with McPhy Energy who successfully developed this solid storage technology adapted to our specific needs within a very short timeframe. This will allow us to develop a high capacity and long-lasting solution for renewable energy storage under conditions of safety and reliability that are perfectly adapted to Atawey's systems. This partnership with a major reference on the hydrogen energy sector will allow us through its subsidiaries to promote our energy autonomy solutions in international markets ", commented Jean-Michel Amaré, Chairman and Co-Founder of Atawey.
" We are most pleased to collaborate on this project with Atawey, an innovative start-up that has built on matured French technologies to propose safe and sustainable energy autonomy equipment for remote site applications. This new agreement is fully aligned with our strategy for developing in global markets for hydrogen energy", concluded Pascal Mauberger, President and CEO of McPhy Energy.
Photo Credit : Hobby One
Catherine Candela appointed General Manager of Tenerrdis.
Tenerrdis Chairman Alain Bortolin and Tenerrdis’ administrators are pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Candela as General Manager of the Tenerrdis energy cluster. The appointment was voted at the December 5, 2013 board meeting and is effective on January 2, 2014.
Prior to joining Tenerrdis, Ms. Candela held the position of VP Administration at Air Liquide Advanced Business & Technologies, where her responsibilities included overseeing strategic partnerships in the Rhône-Alpes region. She had previously served as Plant Manager at Air Liquide Advanced Technologies in Sassenage (near Grenoble), which specializes in R&D for aerospace, cryogenics, and new energy technologies. Her earlier experiences at Air Liquide Advanced Technologies included logistics and HR, giving her a big-picture view of the various functions across the organization.
Ms. Candela holds an engineering degree from Ecole Centrale Paris.
“My new role as General Manager of Tenerrdis is the logical next step from my previous positions helping Air Liquide gain a stronger foothold in the region. I bring extensive experience working with the region’s innovation ecosystem, and, especially the local hydrogen-energy industry. I am thrilled to be a part of Tenerrdis and am looking forward to tackling the challenges of the ‘3.0’ phase of the cluster’s strategy. We will ramp up the transition from project factory to product factory by sharpening our focus on the industrial maturity and commercial viability of the products coming out of our R&D projects. And we will, of course, maintain close ties with centers of excellence. I also plan to leverage strategic partnerships at the local, national, and EU levels to help make our region’s energy-industry businesses more competitive and support the growth, especially in terms of export sales, of our region’s SMBs,” said Ms. Candela.